California pipevine

2016-09-27T19:49:25-07:00Categories: Blog, groundcovers, vines|Tags: , , , , |

Aristolochia californica, California pipevine,  with chrysalis of pipevine swallowtail butterfly California pipevine (Aristolochia californica) is one of the first plants to flower in my northern California garden, sending forth dozens, no hundreds, of tiny blossoms on leafless stems in mid-winter, after the manzanitas but before flashier plants such as native irises grab center stage.  Their appearance, noticed only up close at first, signals the approaching end of winter and fuels my anticipation of full-on gardening weather. The flowers are, to say the least, unusual.  They grow more like fruits than flowers, maturing, right before your eyes, from a